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I lost my religion to my Dad's 357 - part 1

Aug 28, 2006

First off as I start this true account, please do not loose heart or worry for my soul. This is one small chapter in my life and the later chapters are currently unaccounted for and the final chapters unwritten.

When I was a young boy, I went through what I would call a phase in my life. During this phase, my younger brother and I used to go to church. I was probably 10 years old and he would have been about 8. A Baptist church bus would come through the neighborhood soliciting church goers. Knocking on doors on Sunday morning trying to round up people to go to church.

They would pick up a few families, but mostly single moms and kids (moms and kids not necessarily together. For my brother and I we went alone. I would not say that we were pious or anything like that. We went for the possibility of winning the Watch!

You see the solicitors would tell us about the free watch we could win if we went to church. Now in this day and age, it strikes me as absurd that I might consider letting my own children ride a bus to church without me, but these were different times and an underpopulated area of the middle west. To say I was innocent would be an understatement. Back then I don't even think I knew what a child molester was or what they might do. The concern never entered my mine.

Now we went to church every Sunday and tried to recruit our friends to come on occasion as well. We were sometimes successful and this increased our odds of winning the Watch. We'd go to a large church auditorium filled with hundreds of church goers in a church less than a mile from the Illinois River.

My brother and I would take a nickel or two or a dime and sometimes a quarter for the offering. We'd get in an old white or blue bus, the type that looks like a school bus and may have been retired from the school system long ago. We'd go to church and listen to the sermon and attend the Sunday School service and learn the psalms.

I was even Saved during one of these Sundays. Years later I would be saved again in a much different way but not in this installment.

Now, after much church going in case you are curious for a ten year old boy, much church going consists of 4-7 back to back Sundays of church going giving away your coins and not winning the Watch. My brother and I began to grow a little tired of the church going life.

We missed a couple Sundays, possibly over sleeping or going on a trip or a sleep over at our relatives house or a holiday or something. I don't recall exactly.

The church bus and the solicitors would still sweep through the neighborhood. The solicitors probably knocked on our door on those days that we missed, but I don't think we or our family were home. So a few weeks of no church went by and we started to write off the possibility of winning the watch, plus I'd already been Saved.

We told our parents that we didn't really want to go anymore. Our friends had mostly stopped going as well and the religious fervor just wasn't there.

The solicitors came knocking one morning around 7 am or so and woke my father up. Now my father was typically not the easiest person to wake up, and today as an adult, neither am I. He could then and I can now sleep through about anything. When I was in the military, I was asleep in the field(I was working on shifts and had the day shift to sleep.) We went through a mock battle in the middle of the day while I was sleeping outside on a cot in the pleasant Death Valley sun. One of the observers drew a card and I was to be blown up with a grenade. A grenade simulator was set up and set off a few short feet from my cot, and I was dead, but I didn't wake up. I don't even remember it. I slept right through it and learned about it late when I woke up with a good days rest and a bit more of a tan.

So the solicitors had come and knocked and woken my father up. He told them that we weren't interested and didn't want to go to church any more in so many words.

A week went by and Sunday rolled around again and the solicitors must have forgotten or were persistent or something and they came knocking again. Now this time, my father had worked too hard all week and hadn't gotten much sleep the night before nor the night before that and again he was awoken by knocking on the door at 7am on a Sunday.

Now my family has a genetic trait that predisposes us to slight fits of rage and exaggeration, usually combined. My father reacted by yanking the door open and telling the solicitors to get the hell of his porch and not come back again. They got the hell of the porch and did so in a hurry for two reasons. 1. My dad was standing there in his tidy whities &
2. He was holding a chrome plated 357 Magnum with an 8" barrel

The solicitors never woke my Dad up again, we never rode the church bus again and I bought all of my watches after that once I took a job the next year and started making money.

I'll pick up this story in a future installment and describe how that same 357 almost killed me, but I was fortunately Saved and my life was spared thanks to the power of Nuke-lear technology.

WooHoo ed by Brett Bumeter at 12:07 AM  


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